We’re all over the moon that a fourth Mass Effect game is coming, but it has left fans wondering exactly how it can be set in same universe as the original trilogy, and deal with the implications of Mass Effect 3’s ending.
Naturally, we’ll be diving into spoilers for the Mass Effect 3 and will be discussing elements of Andromeda, so if you want to go into the new one completely fresh and/or haven’t played 3 yet, then maybe sit this one out.
As you may know, Mass Effect 3 presented you with a choice at the end of the game – specifically, you could control the galaxy smashing Reapers, destroy them and all synthetic life, or synthesize all organic and synthetic life.
No matter what your decision, you were left with the implication that your choice would have far reaching consequences across the universe.
We know that Andromeda is set 600 years after the original trilogy – so how come the new game won’t acknowledge the massive changes to the universe?
Intriguingly, creative director Mac Walters was asked about that timeline, prompting him to tease on Twitter, ‘We said 600 years…but from when? That, we did not say :)’
Of course, following the recent release of a brand new trailer, we have a little more information to go on, and maybe make sense of Walters’ tease.
We’re shown a timeline of humanity’s relationship with space exploration, covering the period leading up to the original Mass Effect, then going into the launch of the Andromeda Initiative in 2185.
This Initiative involved putting various species into stasis so that they could be sent on a 600 year trip to the Andromeda galaxy, so why is it important that this occurred in 2185?
Well, according to the Mass Effect Wikia, 2185 is after Mass Effect 2 but before Mass Effect 3, which neatly side-steps the issue of having to address the ending, as the cast of Andromeda will have no idea what occurred in the third game, what with being in stasis and all.
So there you have it. Andromeda currently has a tentative release window of March 2017, but God knows that could change in an instant.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.